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Explore Scientific PN208CF vs. N208CF-01

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#1 strelnikoff

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:08 PM

Hello everyone,

 

I have a short question: is anyone privy to information or understanding what is the difference between Explore Scientific PN208 vs N208 (both carbon fiber versions)?

 

Explanation:

 

On March 15 this year, I have placed an order through Amazon for N208CF at $599 price tag. Seller was OpticsPlanet and after a week of waiting for order confirmation - I've called them and learned the product is back-ordered and will be in their hands on April 22nd. They promised they'll honor the price etc. After the Amazon's 30 day waiting period and cancellation - Optics Planet has said I can chose if I want to hold on to the order with them - which I did. I wanted the telescope and I was willing to wait, seeing that Explore Scientific raised the price to 1,000 USD (and added some -01 to the model designation). 

Today I have received the information from the seller "We apologize blah blah - the product has been discontinued by the manufacturer - we're cancelling the order and giving you 5% of your next purchase etc etc".

 

At the same time - there is some old stock of Explore Scientific PN208CF for 599 USD - same price as now "old" N208CF. However, it seems it's also an older model, and I cannot find any specific details so I can compare these two telescopes.

 

I would prefer NOT to spend 1,000 USD on 8" newtonian (now I'm not in the emotional state to allow myself that, since my 42 day wait was in vain), and if I get to that point - I'd rather look at some other options, if there are any. There is Bresser version with metal tube for 499 USD, and roughly the same specs as N208CF.

 

So - does anyone knows what is the difference between PN208CF and N208CF (i.e. N208CF-01 now) ?

I highly appreciate any comments which would help me make a decision, because now I'm itching to get a new scope.

 

Btw - my mount is still AVX - Bresser scope is 22 lbs, Explore Scientific carbon fiber is 19.1 lbs, so 3 pounds for me make a difference.

 

Thank you !!!

 

Aleks


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#2 StrStrck

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:16 PM

Think the PN would be Photo Newt I think. Have you checked the f-ratio? Difference in focuser? Size of secondary?

On another note: The glazed carbon from ES is just a joy to look at...



#3 strelnikoff

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:28 PM

Think the PN would be Photo Newt I think. Have you checked the f-ratio? Difference in focuser? Size of secondary?

On another note: The glazed carbon from ES is just a joy to look at...

I thought that would be straightforward process - comparing the two. But - Explore Scientific does not have legacy products list, Bresser website has some information (they do name metal and carbon fiber versions PN208 (albeit one is CF), and focal length for CF version is listed as 800 mm with f/3.8, while metal version FL is 812 mm and F/3.9 - both with secondary mirror of 85 mm. 

Explore Scientific website is listing FL of 812 mm for carbon fiber version (and metal tube Bresser labeled scope) - with secondary mirror of 71.45 mm (72 mm respectively for CF version). 

 

The website I'm looking for PN208CF is B&H Photo - and there, they have pictures of PN210CF ...  weights are also in vicinity of 20-22 lbs, or 19.1 lbs - not sure who is not listing the accurate specifications.

 

F rations are between f/3.8 and f/4 depending where do I look. So - either someone is rounding the numbers, or ... 

 

You have PN210CF - how different that one is from PN208CF (4 mm overall diameter difference, or same telescope but different markings)?



#4 strelnikoff

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:36 PM

Think the PN would be Photo Newt I think. Have you checked the f-ratio? Difference in focuser? Size of secondary?

On another note: The glazed carbon from ES is just a joy to look at...

Yeah, I was supposed to joyfully fill my eyes with carbon fiber reflections, until - after 42 days of waiting - I go cancellation message. I haven't posted this topic while I was calm :D 

So - while I appreciate the carbon fiber aesthetics - 420 USD extra for that... may be too much :)  (for now).  

 

If the PN208CF is the same as N208CF and N208CF-01 - then I'll get the PN... 



#5 StrStrck

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:48 PM

I originally ordered the 208, and wound up getting the 210, (and I thought nothing of it really). Only difference would be the jump from f/3.9 to 3.8 and the small difference in diameter. The f-ratio is determined by dividing focal length by aperture, so you can calculate the exact “speed of the tube”. So, of the same scope is determined to have different f-ratios, there’s a typo or miscalculation. I wouldn’t round up on f-ratio.



#6 photoracer18

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:53 PM

I am thinking the 210 would be the 10" version and the 208 is the 8" version. That's how those models are usually labeled.



#7 StrStrck

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:55 PM

The carbon will save you perhaps crucial pounds of weight. And it won’t be subject to the effects of temperature change, subtle changes in length could perhaps mess with collimation when imaging at f/3.9.



#8 StrStrck

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:56 PM

I am thinking the 210 would be the 10" version and the 208 is the 8" version. That's how those models are usually labeled.

No, it’s diameter in mm’s.

 

Edit: though the 3.9 for the 208 IS a round up...

https://astronomy.to...al_length_ratio

 

Edit 2: No, the focal length is 812 mm’s, not 800, so f/3.9 is pretty spot on... (note to self)


Edited by StrStrck, 23 April 2019 - 04:09 PM.


#9 strelnikoff

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 04:15 PM

Ok, so let me re-phrase the question :)

 

PN208CF  for 599 USD  - or -  N208CF-01 for 1,000 USD   (plus taxes etc) ? 

 

 

I wrote to Explore Scientific asking about the difference. I doubt they will provide clear answer, but who knows... 



#10 strelnikoff

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 04:17 PM

I originally ordered the 208, and wound up getting the 210, (and I thought nothing of it really). Only difference would be the jump from f/3.9 to 3.8 and the small difference in diameter. The f-ratio is determined by dividing focal length by aperture, so you can calculate the exact “speed of the tube”. So, of the same scope is determined to have different f-ratios, there’s a typo or miscalculation. I wouldn’t round up on f-ratio.

I tried that, but ended up with slight confusion about the listed specs. It seems like sellers (not manufacturers) don't report exact details. 

 

I'll re-do the math.



#11 StrStrck

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 04:18 PM

Ah, got it!lol.gif  Looking at their site, the focuser seems new. Wasn’t too impressed with the one provided. Ended up getting a Moonlite...



#12 StrStrck

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 04:20 PM

I tried that, but ended up with slight confusion about the listed specs. It seems like sellers (not manufacturers) don't report exact details. 

 

I'll re-do the math.

Note the 12 mm difference in focal length between the 208 and 210



#13 StrStrck

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 04:30 PM

Ok, so let me re-phrase the question smile.gif

 

PN208CF  for 599 USD  - or -  N208CF-01 for 1,000 USD   (plus taxes etc) ? 

 

 

I wrote to Explore Scientific asking about the difference. I doubt they will provide clear answer, but who knows... 

So I’d get the cheaper version, remember to get the coma corrector too (not cheap as I recall...). I would not trust them to have fitted a really SUPERB focuser on the new model. On my focuser the micro tuning knob was retrofitted, so there would be some slack when changing the direction of the turn, didn’t like that but that’s mecrazy.gif

 

Edit: Gettin some shuteye. Laterwaytogo.gif


Edited by StrStrck, 23 April 2019 - 04:37 PM.


#14 strelnikoff

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 05:05 PM

So I’d get the cheaper version, remember to get the coma corrector too (not cheap as I recall...). I would not trust them to have fitted a really SUPERB focuser on the new model. On my focuser the micro tuning knob was retrofitted, so there would be some slack when changing the direction of the turn, didn’t like that but that’s mecrazy.gif

 

Edit: Gettin some shuteye. Laterwaytogo.gif

 

Thank you!  

 

I was planning to upgrade eventually, the OTA is sturdy and make sense to upgrade with better accessories. Coma corrector is between 250 and 300 USD, so that alone would fit in the "newer version" scope price.

 

Anything is better than what I'm using now - a 6" Celestron newtonian that came with AVX mount (in a bundle).


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#15 wcoastsands

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:23 PM

Any response yet from ES?

 

---

 

I just reached out to ES as well. The line of questioning is a bit direct, but I'm trying to keep it short and to the point.

 

The N208CF recently saw a significant price hike (was $599, now $999), while the Bresser N208 still remains priced at $499. There appears to be no difference in specs between the two scopes, and no difference in specs compared to before and after the change in pricing.

 

I also noticed that the Bresser.de site now offers a new Explore Scientific PN208 Carbon Mark II Hexafoc OTA for 999 euros, comparable in price to the N208CF.


What's the deal with this pricing, and why isn't the PN208 Mk II listed on the ExploreScientificUSA.com site?

I may reach out to Bresser as well with the same question.


Edited by wcoastsands, 29 April 2019 - 10:50 PM.

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#16 AhBok

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 06:25 AM

This is interesting. It appears only the focuser has changed. I got my new N208CF last year in a bundle that included the HR Coma Corrector and Bahtinov mask for a total of $570.00. I’m feeling pretty pleased with my purchase!
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#17 wcoastsands

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 09:53 AM

This is interesting. It appears only the focuser has changed. I got my new N208CF last year in a bundle that included the HR Coma Corrector and Bahtinov mask for a total of $570.00. I’m feeling pretty pleased with my purchase!

Wow! That's an amazing deal. I ended up paying an extra $250 or so for the HRCC.

 

To call this scope an astrograph but not include the HRCC seems kind of wrong, especially at the current pricing.



#18 wcoastsands

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 10:22 AM

I got a response from ES with regards to the updated N208CF-01 "Astrograph Edition" listed on the ExploreScientificUSA.com site:

 

The N208CF Astrograph Edition has an upgraded focuser and a new mirror mounted differently. The traditional three clips that hold the mirror to the mounting bracket have been removed and the mirror is glued to the bracket.


The mirror changes create a stress-free mirror that eliminated the press points induced by the traditional clips.


The new focuser is more suited to astrophotography.

 

The person that responded wasn't able to comment on the Bresser.de listing because they weren't familiar with it. I find it very odd that Bresser (the parent company of Explore Scientific) would be selling an "Explore Scientific" branded scope without the knowledge of ES. I'll reach out to Bresser directly.


Edited by wcoastsands, 30 April 2019 - 10:23 AM.


#19 AhBok

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 11:50 AM

Well, I do think the cell could use a redesign. The mirror clips are pretty big and create clip shadows on bright stars. I simply made a 5mm mask to mask off the outer edge. It was a simple fix. The price increase wouldn’t warrant that. Also, the Crayford on the original is fine. I use a n-Step motor and controller and have no backlash or slippage.

Either way, it’s a pretty nice scope and a step above the other mass produced imaging newts sold in the U.S., IMO (but a thousand bucks??).
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#20 StrStrck

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 12:01 PM

Well, I do think the cell could use a redesign. The mirror clips are pretty big and create clip shadows on bright stars. I simply made a 5mm mask to mask off the outer edge. It was a simple fix. The price increase wouldn’t warrant that. Also, the Crayford on the original is fine. I use a n-Step motor and controller and have no backlash or slippage.

Either way, it’s a pretty nice scope and a step above the other mass produced imaging newts sold in the U.S., IMO (but a thousand bucks??).

I found on my 210CF that the mirror WAS glued as well as having the clips. It is glued on the three...colums(?) that support the mirror and hold the clips.

If I should encounter the shadow you mention I would remove the clips. Good idea with the masking!


Edited by StrStrck, 30 April 2019 - 12:01 PM.

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#21 strelnikoff

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 03:30 PM

Well, it seems we'll be looking at the "new" N208CF-01, at the fairly higher price. I wonder if that focuser itself is worth that money.

Product development change would dictate - if this telescope has one focuser, than the "upgrade" should be the price difference between "old" focuser and a new one. So - how much would the old focuser cost? It was - so it seems - a decent product itself, so what... 200 USD? 250? maybe 150 USD if it is decent but mass-produced. So - price of 600 - 150 is 450 USD. That's 550 for new focuser (unless the original one was more than 150 USD). Is new focuser worth 550 USD (or more)? Feather Touch focusers are priced at this level (w/o upgrades). 

 

I just don't buy the explanation by ES. Gluing the mirror is - seems like it - just omitting the screws from the part, meaning no need for added steps in mfg process (since it's glued in anyway).

 

I'd conclude here - perhaps it is updated with better focuser, but calling it "astrograph" - is marketing move, and they are charging extra for that. I bet that this new versions true worth is ~700 USD max.

 

I'm just waiting for it to be listed on Amazon so I can use my gift cards :)



#22 wcoastsands

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 03:39 PM

I just heard back from Bresser, but am now more confused than before:

 

 

The PN208 Carbon is a older version. It is a remainder, we will only sell the last pieces from our stock, then this telescope will be discontinued.

 

I'm assuming they mean the PN208 Mark II that they have listed on their site, but I thought it was a new model. Maybe not. I don't know.



#23 wcoastsands

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 03:52 PM

Haha, to add to the confusion, the Bresser UK site is advertising a scope that looks similar to the Bresser DE scope, but is the Explore Scientific PN210 Carbon Mark II Hexafoc OTA.

 

So the PN208CF is the really old one, the N208CF is the recently discontinued one, the N208CF-01 is the hot glue Miracle Max revision, and the PN[208,210] Mark II is the truely new one? But there's still some discrepancy over what the aperture actually is, or maybe they're both 208mm apertures but they named it PN210 just to differentiate it from the PN208???



#24 StrStrck

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 04:59 PM

Haha, to add to the confusion, the Bresser UK site is advertising a scope that looks similar to the Bresser DE scope, but is the Explore Scientific PN210 Carbon Mark II Hexafoc OTA.

 

So the PN208CF is the really old one, the N208CF is the recently discontinued one, the N208CF-01 is the hot glue Miracle Max revision, and the PN[208,210] Mark II is the truely new one? But there's still some discrepancy over what the aperture actually is, or maybe they're both 208mm apertures but they named it PN210 just to differentiate it from the PN208???

The 210 is what I’ve got, and it’s...4 years old, or so. It’s supposed to signify the aperture in mm’s. I’ll measure the aperture tomorrow, just to confirm.

 

Edit: Bought it only TWO years ago. Been through a lot with it, seems like fourwink.gif


Edited by StrStrck, 03 May 2019 - 05:29 AM.

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#25 StrStrck

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 02:47 AM

The primary mirror is 210 mm’s in diameter.


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